That isn’t Neil Armstrong. That isn’t Buzz Aldrin. It’s Harrison Schmitt, the 12th and last man to walk on the moon. Very few people probably know who he is, despite doing something as amazing as walking on the moon.
It seems as though people have a blindness to incredible things unless:
- It’s the first time someone has done it.
- The person/company becomes the best at it.
Apple didn’t invent the first iPod. Google wasn’t the first search engine. Roger Bannister wasn’t the first person to run a mile. All of them beat low expectations and standards set by others. Knowing that a man who walked on the moon isn’t known by most people could be a somewhat depressing thought. What hope do the rest of us have? I once at 5 whole apples in one sitting on a bet (by “whole apples” I meant that I also ate the core). That was impressive, but no one will remember that. I once memorized Martin Luther King Jr’s entire I Have a Dream speech. No one will remember that. Plus I no longer remember 90% of it.
Annie Edison Taylor was the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Seriously. Read the story. It’s amazing and none of your friends have hear about it.
The point of this meandering post is this: History doesn’t remember most people, not even most presidents. What history most remembers is what people create. If your goal is to be remembered, your greatest opportunity is to create something that can live through others.